I have a simple request. I would like garden centers and hardware stores to stop selling plastic tools. Sure, they’re inexpensive, but they are also cheap. The tools are too lightweight to be useful. Plastic becomes brittle when left out in the sunlight. It breaks, cracks, and chips easily. It’s ugly. And it’s made out of petroleum.
I’m staging my own personal rebellion by slowly filling my tool shed with high quality tools. My favorite new tool is a 2 gallon, galvanized metal watering can. It has a very nice rain nozzle that delivers a gentle stream of water. It’s perfect for watering in newly planted seeds and fertilizing mid-season, and I think it will last for decades.
Some other tools on my shopping list, include:
5” stirrup hoe from Johnny’s Select Seeds. This is my all-time, favorite tool. The blade slices right under the soil’s surface, cutting off the roots of young weeds without disturbing the soil. This version has a solid ash handle and comes with replaceable blades.
3-Tine Hand Cultivator from Red Pig Tools: Hand cultivators simplify weeding between rows and make digging evenly spaced furrows easy. This particular cultivator is from a line of gorgeous, hand-forged tools made in Oregon by Rita and Bob Denman. All of their tools are simple, handsome, and heirloom quality.
Felco hand pruners. The gold standard for pruners. You only need to buy this tool once because pretty much everything on it is replaceable, including blades, springs, and handles.
Lee Valley Stainless Steel Digging Fork. Stainless steel won’t rust, is sturdy, and looks pretty, too. I use a digging fork for weeding, gently loosening soil, and dividing plants.
I’m going to add these tools into my collection over the fall and winter so I’m ready to roll next spring. What about you? What are your favorite tools and tool companies?